The expatriate’s family as a stakeholder of the firm : a responsibility viewpoint
Lämsä, A.-M., Heikkinen, S., Smith, M., & Tornikoski, C. (2017). The expatriate’s family as a stakeholder of the firm : a responsibility viewpoint. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28 (20), 2916-2935. doi:10.1080/09585192.2016.1146785
Published inInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
In this paper we argue for the recognition of the expatriate’s family as a stakeholder of the firm during the expatriation. We demonstrate why the expatriate’s family can be regarded as a stakeholder of the parent company and what kind of a stakeholder the family is. Additionally, we argue that the parent company needs to develop and apply a holistic well-being orientation to show stakeholder responsibility in the international assignment (IA) arena. We apply the theory of stakeholder salience to the IA relationship because it provides a theoretical framework for integrating the family into the expatriation process. Yet this theory does not necessarily provide a framework for assessing the social functioning of expatriates and their family members. Since expatriation often leads to a radical shift in family roles and living circumstances, family members (or indeed the expatriates themselves) cannot replicate all elements of their previous lives in the host country. Therefore, we use the capabilities approach to complete the theoretical framework, as this approach provides an evaluative mechanism which highlights how a socially responsible relationship between the company and the family can be advanced to foster well-being and quality of life for the family members as well as the expatriate, even if their functioning abroad differs from their functioning in their own country. ...
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